Green Shoots Of Recovery In East Cambs Say Business Leaders

SIGNS that the economic recovery is starting to gather momentum in East Cambridgeshire and across the region have been welcomed by business leaders. Figures released in the last week by the Office of National Statistics show that while the recession is st

SIGNS that the economic recovery is starting to gather momentum in East Cambridgeshire and across the region have been welcomed by business leaders.

Figures released in the last week by the Office of National Statistics show that while the recession is still biting, the number of people losing their jobs is starting to slow while the number of people claiming job seekers allowance continues to fall.

In September a total of 1181 people in East Cambridgeshire were registered to claim job seeker's allowance, a fall of 51 from the 1232 people who claimed in May.

There was also encouraging signs regarding the unemployment rate in the district which came in at 2.3 per cent; one of the lowest figures in the county and far below the regional figure of 3.3 per cent.

Ron Bradney, economic development champion at East Cambs District Council, said: "The number of people receiving business start-up advice through the new Ely Business Hub is encouraging, 26 people have been assisted since the service started in June.

"Also the district council's two business centres, e-space facilities based in Ely and Littleport, are at record occupancy levels of 92 per cent.

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"Overall, East Cambs hasn't been too badly affected but we are still wary of a potential dip again after Christmas and so are still displaying a certain degree of caution."

A reminder why the council remains cautious about any recovery came with the announcement that 13,000 people in the region lost their job in the three months to August to bring the total to 200,000 in total, a whopping 41 per cent increase on last year.

There was better news for people looking for jobs though, as figures suggested that the number of people in employment in the three months to August rose by 12,000, the first increase in the region's workforce since December 2008.

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